ORNL Director Announces His Departure

Oak Ridge, Anderson County (WVLT) – The Director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Jeff Wadsworth is leaving the Secret City.

In a letter sent to all employees at the lab on Tuesday, Wadsworth said that he would become the Executive Vice President for Laboratory Operations at Battelle's headquarters in Columbus, Ohio.

Wadsworth took over as head of ORNL in 2003.

Below is the letter Wadsworth sent to all employees at the lab.

Director's Message, Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Nearly four years ago I moved to Oak Ridge to become director of this great Laboratory, a challenge that has proved to be one of the most rewarding of my career. Thus it is very much with mixed feelings that I share with you the news that I will soon be leaving ORNL to become Executive Vice President for Laboratory Operations at Battelle. As part of a planned succession, I will be replacing Bill Madia, whom many of you know and who will be retiring at the end of the year.

Perhaps because the time spent here was so enjoyable, the years seem to have literally flown by since I arrived in August 2003. Very quickly I came to understand that there is something special about working at this marvelous facility. I was struck each day by the depth of talent among our staff and by the genuine excitement with which scientific and operational challenges were approached - challenges, incidentally, that many other institutions find intimidating. In a host of ways, these accomplishments have created a lasting foundation for the Lab's continued growth and vitality.

On Chestnut Ridge, the Spallation Neutron Source and the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, two of DOE's largest and most advanced scientific facilities, were delivered. A host of challenges was overcome to finish the HFIR upgrade. The successful operational capabilities convinced DOE to move the U.S. headquarters for the ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) project to Oak Ridge.
In computing, the Leadership Class Facility was won and has become the world's center for open high-performance computing. We have key roles in nearly all of the critically important aspects of energy production, transmission, and use. Our National Security portfolio tripled in size, our program in Environmental Sciences competes among the nation's best, and our biology program has been positioned for a most exciting future.
Amid all these (and other) impressive efforts, the Laboratory's infrastructure continues to be revitalized and modernized. I am particularly proud of the dramatic improvements all of you made in our safety performance. Throughout all of these events, we published first rate scientific papers and won awards both at the individual and laboratory level. We also had a major impact in our community, helping with the Oak Ridge High School revitalization, but more broadly in a range of vitally important educational activities.

The above achievements and lists could continue, and I apologize to those whose specific areas I have had to omit for space reasons. But, the successes we shared were made possible through the hard work of some of the best employees with whom I have ever been associated. I will forever be grateful for the support you gave me and for the progress we together enjoyed.

The University of Tennessee and Battelle will begin immediately the search for a new director. I will continue to serve as director until a new person is selected, at which time I will relocate to Battelle's Columbus headquarter to assume my new duties. My responsibilities at Battelle will include oversight of Battelle's five DOE labs, so I will remain close to ORNL and take with me a special commitment to both follow and assist in the remarkable momentum we have worked so hard to develop over the past few years.

In the coming weeks, I hope to be able to see as many of you as possible, to thank you for your friendship and support, and share any thoughts or suggestions you might have as we embark upon another chapter in the Lab's history.


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